Hope begins in the dark

Well, this post isn’t what I hoped to be writing today.

After 4 ½ years of champagne celebrations following clear scans – today we got the news we knew would come eventually.  Progression.

I have a new spot in my left femur and growth on my right hip.  There it is.

In a way we have been preparing for this news for 4 ½ years.  So, it doesn’t knock me down as hard as one might expect.  First, because – the cancer is still limited to my bones (no organ involvement), these spots are not causing me pain and are small.  Second, there are treatment options to try.  There are drugs that were in clinical trials when I was diagnosed metastatic almost 5 years ago that have proven effective in hormone receptive cancer – so we have options.  Also, looking at possibility of radiation.  The fear is that the cancer becomes resistant to hormone therapy.   But, we aren’t jumping to that yet.

I learned this news sipping on green tea in Starbucks – preparing to board a plane to Michigan for the marriage of two high school friends.  I cried some ugly tears with Jay on the phone. I talked with the boys and boarded the plane.

Because, life. 

That’s the whole point.   Isn’t it?  To celebrate, love and live.  We aren’t letting this derail our life.  We are going to take the information as information, make a plan, and treat it. Sitting home and crying doesn’t help anything.  (Certainly not as much as a walk in the northern Michigan woods, laughing about 1993 hairstyles and celebrating love). I feel strong and healthy. This news doesn’t change that.

Talking to the boys was the hardest part.  As I spoke with Bennett I listened to my own words.  I told him this is a new chapter in our story.  It’s ok to cry and be scared.  There will be changes for our family in this chapter – this new medicine might make me tired or sick.  But, this chapter isn’t written yet so worrying about that now doesn’t help anything.  We get to write this chapter just like each chapter of our beautiful adventure leading us to today.  The story hasn’t been all happiness and joy.  But, the narrative is uniquely ours.  And in its entirety is a great story.

If you’d like to do something to support me – join me for Colors of Courage on October 5th.  More than ever, this gathering to support Hope Scarves will be about love, connection, storytelling and hope… These past couple hours as I processed this news I have repeatedly thought about Emily – our featured storyteller for Colors of Courage this year.  Her strength and steadfast grace in the face of debilitating treatments and devastating news lights my way.  Come to hear her story.   And stay to celebrate the power of connection, compassion and hope.  Even in the darkest days.

If you can’t be with us Friday– join us online – bid on the auction – we have a lot of great stuff (big green egg, beats headphones, week at a cottage in lake Michigan and much more).  Or, support or MBC Research Fund.  Our goal is to raise $50,000 for research Friday. Because research is what made this new drug possible for me.  I’ve always said, I am making my body as healthy as possible to hang on for science.   More than ever, I am dedicated to accelerating research and supporting scientists who work to extend patients’ lives.

I’m grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received over the past 11 years.  And, specifically the past 4 ½ years with MBC.  And, today. One thing is certain, I have never felt alone.  I am carried by your prayers, hugs, light and love.   Thank you.

Loving life, living each day to the fullest.  Even today.

With hope,